Etihad Airways has announced plans to launch scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Baku, the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan, effective 2 March 2018.
The service will be operated three times a week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy.
Azerbaijan introduced a visa waiver programme for UAE nationals in November 2015 and expanded it to other GCC nations in early 2016. This prompted a surge in travel to the country and to Baku, on the Caspian Sea.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways chief executive officer, said: “The creation of the first ever air corridor linking the two capital cities demonstrates the importance of strengthening business, tourism and cultural ties between the UAE and Azerbaijan.
“The newest destination on Etihad Airways’ global network also reflects our commitment to linking Abu Dhabi with emerging markets that seek direct flights and onward connections to other parts of the world.
“Based on the growth witnessed in recent months from the UAE and neighbouring Gulf countries to Azerbaijan, we are confident that the new route will boost traffic from the UAE, and in turn we look forward to welcoming Azerbaijanis on our flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond.”